Your child’s baby teeth play a very important role in chewing, smiling and speaking. A beautiful healthy smile gives your child the confidence they need. For this reason, Dr. Ruiz strives to protect your child’s teeth until they are expected to exfoliate naturally on their own. If a baby tooth has extensive decay that involves 3 or more sides of the tooth or has had nerve treatment, it is more prone to fracture or break. In these cases, a filling is not enough to protect your child’s tooth. When it is necessary to safeguard and protect your child’s tooth, a crown will be recommended. There are two types of crown that Dr. Ruiz will recommend. A stainless steel crown is the restoration of choice to protect the posterior or back teeth that have to withstand strong chewing forces. In the anterior area, where more esthetic goals are desired, Dr. Ruiz will place composite (white) crowns.
Stainless steel crowns are the favored choice by most pediatric dentists to protect the posterior teeth for many reasons. They are extremely durable and can withstand the pressure placed on the molars during chewing and grinding. Additionally, they are thin, so it requires less removal of the natural tooth structure, saving more of your child’s natural tooth than other modalities.
Composite crowns are made of “white” filling material and are more esthetic, making them suitable to restore the front teeth. The result is more natural, but placing them requires more time and skill. It is well worth the effort to maintain a natural looking smile. However, over time the material can stain or discolor. Additionally, they are weaker than stainless steel crowns, so they require gentle use. Dr. Ruiz, recommends avoiding using composite crowns to bite into hard foods such as ice, apples, carrots, and other hard foods, so that they don’t fracture.